There are many simple and free ways make workplaces happier places to be and, as a result, more productive.

Sue Langley shares top tips to to be happy at work and ensure your business is nurturing its people, in a Sydney Morning Herald article. These include knowing your strengths and the strengths of your team, celebrating successes and congratulating people on a job well done, being present so you can notice and savour the good things that are happening, creating room for more meaning in your workplace and life, and building positive relationships.

Top happiness tips

Here is an excerpt of Sue’s top ten tips to ensure your business is nurturing its human assets.

1. Celebrate the successes.

People tend to get a task finished and immediately move on to the next one. Stop and notice what your employees have achieved and give them a pat on the back. It could be anything – meeting a deadline or reaching a financial goal. Encourage your employees to congratulate themselves on a job well done.

2. Be present.

Try to use all of your senses to take in your surroundings and encourage your employees to do the same. There could be a beautiful sunrise, or you might simply relish your desk being tidy for the first time in a long time. Being present sharpens your focus and helps you appreciate the little things.

3. Know your strengths.

Find out what people’s strengths are, not just what they’re good at. Some employees are thought to excel at a task because they have been doing it for a long time and it has become a learned behaviour. To pinpoint an employee’s strengths, ask them if they perform the task well, if it energises them and how frequently they use this skill. Tapping into your team’s strengths will engage the team and improve productivity.

4. Get out there.

Develop a sense of meaning and fulfilment by helping out a charity or community organisation. Corporate social responsibility is a common ethos at most major companies and there are many charities that accept and need corporate involvement. Your employees are happier if they have a sense of purpose and realise they live meaningful lives.

5. Build positive relationships.

Humans are social beings and need support networks. Do you have a best friend at work? Do you have people you can trust and lean on? Encourage your staff to build connections with each other and it will enhance their motivation.

6. Positive communication.

Analyse the way your staff communicate with each other to work towards optimum results. Do your employees use active-constructive responding?

For example, tell an employee you are happy with their performance and begin a discussion by asking them questions rather than giving a passive or limited response. Enquiry is a practical way of steering an employee to reach their potential.

If an employee makes a suggestion you think won’t work, ask them to explain how it works rather than immediately rejecting their idea. The employee will eventually modify their plans based on your questions.

7. Set goals.

Many people don’t set goals because they are scared of failure. They make personal goals, but not for their whole lives. Encourage your staff to set big and small goals and make your own. Make your goals meaningful and enjoy the boost to your sense of wellbeing once they are achieved.

8. Savour the moment.

Enjoy overcoming the challenges and reaping the rewards. The more “up moments” people have, the more likely they are to pull themselves out of the “down times”. It helps build resilience.

9. Be positive.

People think of optimism and pessimism as permanent states, but they are explanatory styles. We can learn to push ourselves into optimistic explanatory styles by explaining what happens to us in a positive way. It makes people feel better and it’s a good way to talk to ourselves.

10. Gratitude and appreciation.

Studies have shown gratitude gives a big boost to wellbeing. Thanking or praising someone makes them feel good and makes us feel good. If it’s reciprocated, it has a wonderful ripple effect.

Read the full article.

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